Sunday, October 14, 2018

What to Pack and Prep for Back to Back In Person and Virtual Group Engagements

This week I'm facilitating a number of different back-to-back programs. It’s one of the crunch weeks that usually emerge every quarter. From new virtual groups, to in-person groups, from one off team events to in-person speaking. In one week, I'll pretty much be leading the full range of what I offer in my work.

A question I often get from coaches and others new to this work is "What do you pack and build in as you go to prepare for your own work?".

Prepping for Back-to-Back Group Engagements
I thought it would be useful to do a bit of an exploration of what's in my toolkit as I step into this week of both in person and virtual calls. 

First, remember that we work doesn’t start when you meet with the group or team. It begins way before that. Have you built in enough time to meet with them and get to know them? Have you built in the the time you need for preparation?

One of the key success factors to ensuring that programming is the right fit for everyone attending is holding a pre-call one on ones. While this may not meet everyone's needs, it does provide a key component of building trust and connection as you go to design and pull together program elements. While it’s easy to think that group A will be like group B, more often than not, they will be different. 

Our work needs to be tailored to the different groups that you work with. This can take some time, and shouldn’t be left to last minute. 

You may also want to include multiple pre-checks along the way (through phone calls or sharing materials for review) to make sure that there is enough time to make changes as needed. 

If you are a solopreneur and don't have a team around you, be sure to do a last minute quality check. It can be useful to run it by others who can catch any last minute typos or changes in font size. These are little details but it is a big one!

Some of the other things I always want to make sure I have for in person-programs include enough materials plus an extra copy or set of all handouts and eval forms. Also, for for every in-person engagement,  I like to pack:

  •  Post it notes
  •   Colored Dots
  •  Markers and some extra pens
  • masking tape 
  •  any visual cards I'm going to use
  • a spare set of the handouts/worksheets or binder I am using.

I also always carry my presentation or any files on earth on USB key, in addition to having it on my laptop. I also want to make sure I have my remote control for slides/laptop. 

Before I close my briefcase I do a final check for cords. It's inevitable that once in awhile cords got left behind so create a bit of a checklist for yourself at just to see what you're missing!

This week, in between my in person work I'm also going to have to be doing some calls on the road. Given that “technology usually happens”, what's critical for making this happen while on the road is:

  • 1   making sure I have the contact details for each call I am leading. This usually includes access codes, back up dial in and url links;
  • 2.       making sure I have the backup contact details and number;
  • 3.       making that the app on my phone works;
  • 4.       Ensuring I have the participants email addresses and phone numbers in case tech happens.

 I also need to remember to pack headphones and a spare battery charger.

These are small details but they mean the big difference of being able to do work well on the road.

When getting ready to deliver back-to-back programs during the week, a final area is to make sure that your building in enough time for yourself what will help you transition from activity to activity.

Anytime you have “crunch weeks”, it is important to pause once it’s done. How will you take some time to recharge afterwards? When you are working for yourself, you may find you have 80 hour weeks but these should not represent every week. It is important to build in “focus breaks” for yourself before, during and after the event.

The last part of the year can be a very busy time for teams and groups as they are usually trying to fit in events during the fiscal. It an be important for you to decide what you can, and cannot take on, and who you might be able to refer to.

Let us know what you pack in your kit for either in person and or virtual programming by commenting below.

Have a great week everyone!

 PS - I hope that you'll join me for an upcoming program including our upcoming community calls – including Monday October 15th 11:15 – 11:45 am ET call on Team Tools for the Virtual and Digital Space. This call will be held in my zoom room (zoom room 270-302-0415).
Tomorrow I'll be sharing more about 2 additional October programs starting in the next 10 days. Stay tuned!

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, PCC
Potentials Realized | /GroupCoachingEssentials
Phone: 416-996-8326
Group Coaching Essentials - All things group coaching
Effective Virtual - All things virtual
Coaching Business All things business related (for coaches)  

1 comment:

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